Introduction: Clean Greasy Hands With Lotion - the Poor Man's Gojo


To clean dirty greasy hands, slobber lots of skin lotion onto them, work it around, and then wipe it off onto a rag. Most of the dirty grease will come off with the lotion.
Technique demonstrated by Star.

To make it work even better, before starting your dirty work, rub lots of lotion into your hands .
Especially work it under your nails. In the cleanup phase, an old toothbrush works great for cleaning fingernails.

Step 1: Work It In

In theory oil and water can't mix, and we're mostly made of water, but somehow dirty grease really likes to stick to human hands.

The lotion contains emulsifiers such as lecithin that make it possible for oil and water to mix.
So the wet lotion greedily mixes with the dirty grease and loosens it from your hands.

Step 2: Wipe With Rag


It helps if you sing your favorite car mechanic song while you do this.

Step 3: Clean!

And Cinderella's off to the ball!

Repeat as necessary, and if you're a real cleanliness freak you can proceed to a sink to continue the process with soap and water.

It doesn't much matter what kind of lotion you use, probably the cheaper the better.
It might work with butter also, please report back if that works for you.

Comments

author
rebecca.iffinger made it!(author)2015-03-19

gojo is cheaper than any lotion I've come across

author
KittyF made it!(author)2011-10-10

butter costs 4 dollars a pound. not happening in this lifetime. teehee

although you're right, in a pinch any grease/oil/lotion will work to loosen machine grease. machine grease is much heavier and what you're doing is using a lighter (not to mention-CLEANER) oil to thin it out and make it come off on the rag easier and more completely.

you could even use machine oil to loosen it, but machine oil drys the skin I think.

author
prosoap made it!(author)2010-12-13

Prosoap is a great soap for hands that work!

http://prosoap.blogspot.com/2010/11/real-man-have-soft-hands.html

author
DIYCharlie made it!(author)2010-09-29

If you're doing any painting, especially with a sprayer, apply some lotion to your hands, arms, sprayer, watch, facial hair, before starting. When you're finished, the paint just wipes right off the the most part. Areas where the lotion can be rubbed off will not fare as well.

author
desya made it!(author)2010-07-10

I have been telling trick to my friends for years....like after checking their cars oil.... most women have a small bottle of lotion in their purse... always good to have on hand...and paper towel to rub extra off

author
rat_bone made it!(author)2009-02-13

Another cheap way to clean really greasy hands while working on motor vehicles is to use a little motor oil (even used oil). Put a little on your hands and rub them together. The oil loosens the grease quickly and easily, then just wipe the oil and grease off on a rag and wash your hands with soap and water to remove the oily residue.

author
johnny3h made it!(author)2010-06-06

I agree. I've used motor oil [both fresh and used] for heavy grease and grime removal from my hands and it works great. I'm glad you mentioned the need to wash the oil residue off of out of you hands because over the last few years it has become well known that motor oil can be absorbed into the body through the skin, and removal with soap an water is the only sure method of avoiding the contamination. Also, I've read that the "used" motor / crankcase oils are loaded with harmful compounds, AND micro particals of engine wear metals!!!!! So, as rat_bone indicates, IF using motor oils to clean hands, be sure to follow immediately with thorough hand washing with lots of soap and water!!!!!

author
Una made it!(author)2010-05-21

Crisco works great for this.

author
Clayton+H. made it!(author)2008-08-21

My dad works at a place that is really greasy and he lets me use the cool metal cutting tools for projects. well anyway I get really greasy and he has a special soap called "magic soap" which is just soap with sand in it and it works like a charm.

author
loppy96 made it!(author)2009-08-04

i use coffe grounds mixed with dawn gets out all the gunk used coffe grounds of course

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turnerfromdh made it!(author)2008-11-08

its also called lava soap

author
Yerboogieman made it!(author)2009-06-06

Works great.

author
Clayton+H. made it!(author)2009-06-07

Now my High School woodshop has this stuff called "cherry bomb" works well and smells like cherrys, mmmm.

author
zero838 made it!(author)2009-02-09

yea its called "lava soap" or "fast orange" is another one

author
technodude92 made it!(author)2008-11-19

is that the stuff that's red with the pumice in it? I've seen it in the local publix and was tempted to buy it.

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turnerfromdh made it!(author)2009-01-24

think so

author
Yerboogieman made it!(author)2009-06-06

Well, you forgot about the oils on your skin.

author
yanggers made it!(author)2009-04-13

Most elegant! hands feel great after degreasing! I will try this (and other methods suggested in comments) on cleaning the bike chain drive!

author
pudicobar made it!(author)2008-11-25

My best trick is using regular soap + a luffa sponge... This is great!!! The secret is to rinse the luffa from time to time. Black greasy paws become nice clean and good smelling hands

author
Fast+Eddie made it!(author)2008-11-25

Great idea here. I'll have to try this next time. Up till now, the best Ive found is just plain old powdered laundry detergent. Tide, Sunlight, whatever... Old timer machinists trick. Any old shop will have a small dish of Tide beside the sink. Seems alot more sensible than mixing sand (dirt) with soap to get the same result, eh? ;)

author
2ManyProjects made it!(author)2008-11-18

I used to use dishsoap, but it was seriously drying out my skin. I think I will try lotion next time. Thanks!

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thylacine made it!(author)2008-11-13

When I worked in a printshop, rather that clean up oil based inks w/ solvents, we would use vegetable oil and rags for the initial cleaning, and then simple green or some other strong detergent to clean up the oil residue. Worked very well and much better than a petroleum based solution.

author
jedij585 made it!(author)2008-08-06

The best grease cutter for hands after working with oil is liquid dish soap. It is made specifically for cutting grease from dishes and works awesome on skin as well.

author
Zengineer1618 made it!(author)2008-06-30

Baby oil works really well too for removal of oil / grease from hands. It also removes some sticky residues that are left from some of types adhesive tapes and labels.

author
flactemnad made it!(author)2007-10-28

Baking soda + soap is my favorite for greasy hands. The baking soda will quickly break down the greasyness, soap is good for a little more cleaning power. It's a bit drying on the skin though, so a little lotion at the end is a good idea too.

author
carpespasm made it!(author)2007-09-08

i've made homemade gojo with play sand and a gallon jug of hand lotion before. worked well and was much cheaper than a gallon jug of gojo.

author
Ohm made it!(author)2007-08-20

Yeah I think the lotion well end up costing a lot more to essentially waste cleaning you hands. By a bar of lava soap if you only need it on rare ocations, you well need the lotion after that tough. Also there are products that you can apply to your hands and arms before hand that help keep the grease from sticking as badly, often called by the generic name of liquid gloves.

author
Sintax made it!(author)2007-08-19

Seriously try olive oil next time, It gets rid of grease very fast.

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zachninme made it!(author)2007-08-20

Then you're left with oily hands! D:

author
zachninme made it!(author)2007-08-20

Why not just wash them with soap?

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%21Andrew_Modder%21 made it!(author)2007-08-19

just stright up lotion? i prefur dishsoap. also did you know you can find GoJo or Lava-(like GoJo) at doller stores?

author
Weissensteinburg made it!(author)2007-08-19

If you include videos of you singing a few different mechanics songs, I'll give you a +

=]

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Bio: Tim Anderson is the author of the "Heirloom Technology" column in Make Magazine. He is co-founder of www.zcorp.com, manufacturers of "3D Printer" output ... More »
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